I hope this week, in addition to the family, friends, and feasting; that you also include some time to truly reflect on gratitude. 

For the first time in nearly two years, I’ll be gathering with my sister and her family for Thanksgiving. I’ll get to see my nieces and nephews, including two beloved foster children that my sister and brother-in-law are adopting this month! I’m grateful to be able to be with them!

I’m also grateful for our hardworking church staff. Serving a church during a global pandemic has been challenging to say the least. Our staff has juggled personal illness, quarantines, caring for aging parents, virtual school, and now rebuilding and restarting ministries. They make it look easy, but believe me, it’s not; and yet they show up each day to serve. I’m grateful to serve alongside them.

I’m grateful for the people of First Methodist Clinton. Through all of the uncertainty of the past 20 months our people have emerged resilient and ready. Ready for what lies ahead in God’s Kingdom and grounded with a resilience that comes from anchoring our hope firmly in Jesus. Church looks a bit different than before the pandemic, but praise be to God–we’re still here! I’m grateful to be your pastor. 

And, finally, Thanksgiving week ends on Sunday, with the beginning of Advent. This is a time of preparing our hearts to once again hear the Good News of the birth of Jesus. I’m grateful for this time of year to center ourselves on the story of salvation that begins in the humblest of places: the arms of a loving mother and an anxious father. I’m grateful that the child held in Mary’s arms, grows up to embrace us all.

Happy Thanksgiving, 

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